Bestow life insurance review
This startup breaks down the barriers to life insurance and offers a more seamless process.
Get a quote if…
- You are young and healthy.
Pick something else if..
- You’re over the age of 55.
18 to 55
$50,000 to $1,000,000
Medical Exam Required
|Issue Age||18 to 55|
|Coverage Amount||$50,000 to $1,000,000|
|Term Lengths||2, 10, or 20 years|
|Medical Exam Required||No|
|Ways To File A Claim||Online|
|Ratings, Accreditation and Memberships||A.M. Best: A+ (Superior)|
|State Availability||Not available in Alaska or New York|
Katia Iervasi is a writer from Sydney, Australia. Her writing — and curiosity — has taken her around the world, and she now calls New York home. With a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).
Designed for today’s buyer, Bestow cuts down on the time and cost of life insurance to make it an easier and more convenient purchase. If you’re healthy and aged between 21-55, you should be able to breeze through the application process.
However, if your needs are complex and you need to customize your coverage with riders, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
What types of life insurance coverage does Bestow offer?
Bestow offers term life insurance policies for those age 21-55. The cheapest and most straightforward policy, term life provides protection for a set period of time — in Bestow’s case, 2, 10 or 20 years. The premium stays the same for as long as the policy is in force.
The minimum coverage amount is $50,000. For a 10- or 20-year policy, you can buy up to $1 million of coverage. For a 2-year policy, the limit is $500,000. The policies are non-renewable, so at the end of the term, you’ll need to reapply for a new policy.
If you pass away, your beneficiaries will receive a guaranteed death benefit. Once the claim is approved, the North American Company for Life and Health Insurance will wire the funds into your beneficiary’s bank account.
Bestow doesn’t charge annual or cancellation fees and you can cancel your coverage at any time.
What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?
To avoid complicating its algorithms, Bestow doesn’t allow policyholders to customize their coverage with riders.
If you want to dress up your policy with these riders and supplementary coverages, look at other insurers:
- Accelerated death benefit
- Accidental death benefit
- Child protection
- Spousal protection
- Waiver of premium
- Overloan protection
- Disability coverage
How do I get a low rate?
Your premium is a product of your age, health, lifestyle, occupation and hobbies, as well as the length and amount of coverage you purchase. Insurance is a game of risk, and like all insurers, Bestow reserves its best rates for its least risky applicants.
Its underwriting considers:
- Tobacco use. To qualify for the highest rate class, you’ll have to prove you haven’t smoked tobacco in the past five years.
- Age. Young, healthy applicants are usually privy to cheaper premiums.
- Gender. Women have a higher life expectancy than men, so they tend to pay lower premiums.
- Driving record. If your recent record is free from major traffic violations and DUI, you’ll probably score a better premium.
- Criminal history. People with a criminal conviction to their name will find it harder to get coverage.
- Health. To determine the chances of you outliving your policy, the insurer looks at your cholesterol, blood pressure, BMI and family medical history. If you’ve had an organ transplant or have one of the following health conditions, Bestow will most likely deny coverage: heart disease, stroke, cancer, HIV, kidney disease requiring dialysis and diabetes before the age of 40.
- Occupation. Some jobs are more dangerous than others. Firemen, fishermen, roofers, loggers and electrical power-line installers will be subject to higher rates.
- Hazardous lifestyle. Do you have any high-risk hobbies like deep diving, racecar driving, rock climbing or recreational flying? Or, do you travel to dangerous or war-torn countries? The insurer will charge a higher premium to compensate for the risk.
- Alcohol and drugs. Bestow can’t extend coverage to those who have a history of alcohol or drug abuse.
Pros and cons of Bestow life insurance
- Online application. You can apply for coverage and receive approval within 10 minutes.
- Competitive prices. Choose a coverage amount based on the monthly premium payment.
- No medical exam. The insurer’s tagline is: “We take the pricks out of life insurance.”
- Coverage amounts. Bestow offers up to $1 million in coverage, which is high for no-exam policies.
- 2-year term available. If you only need coverage for a short period of time, the two-year term may be a good fit.
- 30-day money back guarantee. Cancel your policy within the first 30 days and you’ll receive a refund — no questions asked.
- No annual or cancellation fees. One of the benefits of eliminating commissioned agents is that policyholders don’t have to pay fees.
- Financially strong. Bestow is backed by the North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, which boasts an A+ rating from A.M Best, S&P and Fitch. This means the insurer has the cash to pay out claims.
- No riders or supplemental coverages. You can’t customize your coverage with riders or add protection for your spouse or children.
- Age restrictions. Bestow’s 2- and 10-year policies are open to those aged 21-55, while the cutoff age for 20-year policies is 45. So all policies will expire by the time you’re 65.
- Short support window. Agents are available via phone and live chat during business hours, 9am-5pm CDT. Outside of those times, you’ll have to email or leave a voicemail.
- No 30-year term option. This is unusual, even for an online startup.
How does Bestow compare?
Bestow reviews and complaints
Bestow has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2017 and has an A rating. The BBB hasn’t registered any reviews or complaints, but the high rating reflects well on Bestow’s operations and customer satisfaction.
In business for over a century, the company is BBB-accredited and has the cash reserves to pay out claims — as confirmed by its A+ ratings with A.M. Best, S&P and Fitch.
Since Bestow is so new to the marketplace, there aren’t many customer reviews to draw from. However, press outlets like HuffPost, Forbes, WSJ and TechCrunch have praised its simple sign-up process, innovative underwriting and competitive rates. Some reviewers have lamented the lack of permanent policies and riders, but overall, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
How does Bestow protect my data?
Bestow collects your personal information in order to communicate with you, offer its products and services, complete transactions and handle customer service issues.
Bestow has protocols and procedures in place to secure your data, including SHA-256 bit encryption technology, and restricts access to personal information.
How do I sign up?
You can get a quote, sign up for and purchase your policy all online with Bestow.
- From Bestow’s homepage, click Let’s Get Started or Get Quote. Then enter your gender, birthdate, height, weight and state of residence, and click Get a quote!
- You’ll then be presented with a quote, which you can adjust. Select your desired coverage amount ($50,000-$1 million) and length of term (2, 10 or 20 years). If you’re happy with your updated quote and would like to proceed with the application process, click Start Application.
- You must first create an account by entering your email address and setting up a password.
- Then proceed through the application, providing personal, health and lifestyle info. When finished, click Submit Your Application.
I’ve signed up. What happens next?
If you’re approved, verify your coverage amount and length of term, then enter your credit card info to purchase the policy.
More about Bestow
Founded in 2017, Bestow is an insurtech company that sells term life insurance. Headquartered in Dallas, Bestow aims to break down the major barriers to life insurance — time, money and medical exams — by offering instant coverage online. It trades in the medical exam for technology and big data and uses algorithms to underwrite policies in 10 minutes.
By using analytics to assess risk, Bestow is one of a handful of companies that are shaking up the insurance industry. The startup has partnered with a financial powerhouse, the North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, which writes policies on Bestow’s behalf and handles claim payouts.
In early 2018, Bestow made headlines when it raised $15 million in Series A funding – an amount that brought its total financing to more than $18 million. Since then, CEO Melbourne O’Banion has led the team in expanding nationwide. Fast-forward to now, and Bestow’s policies are available in 40 states across the US.
If Bestow isn’t quite the right fit, find an insurer that checks all your boxes by comparing providers and policies.
How do I file a life insurance claim with Bestow?
To report a claim, follow these steps:
- Call 833-300-0603 or email email@example.com to let Bestow know that the policyholder has passed away.
- In the call, voicemail or email, provide the policyholder’s full name, date of birth, beneficiary, and policy number if you have it.
- Include your contact details.
- You’ll receive a claim packet by mail within five days. Complete the forms and submit any supporting documentation such as a death certificate.
- Double check that the beneficiary’s banking details are correct.
- Once the insurer has all the required information, it will assess and process the claim within 10 days. Bestow will then wire the funds to the beneficiary.